UOR profiles, part 2: Hygienists share what they like about career, personal time, and conference

Three dental hygienists who attended the RDH Under One Roof conference in Maryland last summer share a little bit about themselves and their careers.

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Angela Rhoades, RDH

Practices where: SmileLogic. Inc. is her independent practice in Broomfield, Colorado.

Career highlights: “Flexibility in schedule, changing attitudes in whole health thinking, interacting with so many different kinds of people on a daily basis, evolution of dental hygiene, becoming more accepted as a solo profession, and not just the gal that cleans teeth for the dentist.”

Favorite patient: “One patient that stands out is a patient who presented with some lesions on his tongue. They were not painful, and the patient had no idea they were there. Because they were bilateral and very unusual, we referred to an oral surgeon. The lesions were not an oral issue, but an indicator of HIV. The patient had been with his partner for 20 years. They had no idea. Patient was able to get on the correct protocol, and is healthy. Patient was very thankful that his oral health visit took into account his whole body health.”

Outside of work: She enjoys travelling, and has an 11-year-old daughter, husband, and two dogs. “They keep me busy!”

Reached decision about RDH Under One Roof how: “Other options for CE don’t tend to cater toward RDHs. Usually is a dental conference with a couple classes for RDHs. Loved the location, and that there was opportunity to do some sightseeing as well.”

Best UOR takeaway: “Being around a group of likeminded individuals. Loved the courses on HPV and electronic cigs, applicable to daily use.”

Theresa Lombardo, RDH

School: Williamsport Area Community College, class of 1987

Practices where: After starting out in a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, practice, she has spent the last 20 years in Hershey, Pennsylvania, working in the practice for Dr. Richard Walters.

Career highlights: “I've enjoyed the flexibility of working part-time or full-time. Being blessed to work in an office with wonderful staff and a great boss who is respectful, generous, and does quality dentistry. And the rewards of getting to know so many patients and making differences in their lives. Being a RDH gives me great pleasure day after day!”

Favorite patient: “Some of my interesting patients were my periodontally involved ones. It was always rewarding for me to see the transformations from start to finish.”

Outside of work: “I believe in keeping mind, body and soul healthy! Living a healthy lifestyle is my motto! I weight train and have competed in several figure shows (my bucket list check-off was The Arnold Classic). I love to spend time with friends, my family at our cabin in New York, hiking, kayaking, biking, fishing, gardening, hunting are just some of my favorites. Helping when time allows with a local nonprofit organization called The Giving Tree in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania. Volunteering with our local component to apply sealants on children.”

Reached decision about RDH Under One Roof how: “I've attended many conferences over the years but always seem to come back to UOR. There is no other to compare what it offers. This was my 13th year and was delighted to participate in celebrating UOR’s 15th year! Looking forward to our next UOR in Chicago 2017!”

Best UOR takeaway: “So many to list but here are a few. Meeting new hygienists, catching up with old colleges from past UORs. Speaking with exhibitors about new products, checking out the latest technology, taking courses to meet our requirements. I've had the opportunity to speak with several of the course instructors. You can attend functions sponsored by many of the dental companies, which is always a lot of fun! You never leave empty handed! I would certainly recommend UOR for any fellow hygienist, you won't be disappointed.”

Laureen Lipscomb, RDH

School: Allegany Community College, class of 1984

Practices where: She works at Mayhew Family Dentistry in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

Career highlights: “The relationship I have made with my patients over the years while educating them about their oral health.”

Favorite patient: “There have been too many to count, but the anxious patients are a challenge. When you get them to trust you and the practice, and overcome their fears, it is amazing. I also really enjoy special needs patients—autistic children that finally open up and allow you to treat them. My heart is overjoyed after their visits.”

Outside of work: She enjoys cooking, scrapbooking, and painting. “I have participated in grief ministry at my church, and I feel this ministry has made me a better listener in my profession. When I retire, I plan to use this opportunity to work with hospice as a health-care worker.”

Reached decision about RDH Under One Roof how: “Because it was close to home, and I had the day off.”

Best UOR takeaway: “I learned so many things! But, in a practice that treats many children, I learned a lot about implementing xylitol into our practice for children to reduce caries and for adults with dry mouth due to medications. I also was empowered by the speaker who mentioned using dental hygiene care with xylitol in nursing home care for the prevention of respiratory pneumonia. A simple act of kindness and healthcare that can change an incredible amount of health problems for our elderly in nursing homes!”

For more information about RDH Under One Roof, click here.

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